The Associated Press recently released their 2020 NFL All-Pro team. Although you can debate many of the selections, there’s one omission that stood out, that of Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller.
Raiders TE Darren Waller didn’t earn All-Pro honors in 2020
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was the best tight end in the NFL in 2020. Thus, it wasn’t surprising to see him earn a consensus First-Team designation, getting all 50 Associated Press voters. He hauled in 105 receptions for 1,416 yards and 11 touchdowns. Moreover, he set the record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a season.
On the other hand, Waller hauled in 107 yards for 1,196 and nine touchdowns and had a strong case for earning a Second-Team All-Pro selection. However, he didn’t get it due to the fact he had no votes. It was a technicality, but one that voters adhered to. Looking at the (flawed) process, how can someone get an All-Pro designation even though he had no votes? If the Associated Press gave ‘D-Wall’ the selection, they would set a precedent and other players could argue they deserve the accolade even though they had no votes cast in their favor.
It certainly sucks, but that’s how the process works
It surely tastes like dog dirt. Waller should’ve earned the Second-Team All-Pro designation, but not much can be done about it. Voters didn’t collude, they just all thought Kelce was the best tight end, which indirectly hurt the Raiders’ ’83’. Moving forward, they could revisit the process, so it doesn’t happen again, but they can’t change the current results.
If there’s a silver lining, this isn’t the first time a Second-Team All-Pro slot is left vacant. Josh Dubow of the Associated Press brought up many instances when there’s been a vacant spot on the All-Pro team.
Found a few other vacant spots on 2nd team:
2013 QB (Peyton Manning 1st team)
2014 TE (Rob Gronkowski)
2016 K (Justin Tucker)
2016 punt returner (Tyreek Hill) https://t.co/fggHf6qkzg
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) January 8, 2021
Not getting All-Pro honor doesn’t take away from Waller’s top-notch 2020 season. Most people would’ve liked to see him earn it, but it didn’t happen. On the bright side, the Raiders’ tight end has shown he isn’t a one-year wonder, and he will likely vie for postseason honors in future seasons.
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Top Photo: Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press